Healthy Home Series: Clear the Air, Improving Air Quality in your Home

asthmaallergyMay is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Supported by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), this awareness event is held throughout the month of May to coincide with the peak season for asthma & allergy sufferers. Unfortunately no place is completely safe from allergies and asthma triggers in America and indoor air pollution can often make the air you breathe inside your home unhealthier than even the air outside. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air can be two- to five-times more polluted than the outdoor air (including pollution from smog, ozone and other chemicals).

Here at Gateway Arms, we do all we can to keep indoor air quality ideal in our residential and commercial real estate properties in Staten Island, but in honor of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, we are offering you some simple tips for a healthy home.


What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperatures and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of pollutants.
Fortunately, there are a few steps that Staten Island residents can take both to reduce the risk from existing sources and to prevent new problems from occurring:


Air Purifier

Many types and sizes of air cleaners are available on the market, ranging from inexpensive table-top models to sophisticated whole-house systems. The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air (expressed as a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (expressed in cubic feet per minute). Installing a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can make your air conditioner more effective and help to clear the air of polluted air particles. And even adding a HEPA filter to your vacuum can help you get rid of toxins like brominated fire-retardant chemicals and allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust mites.


No Smoking

Some indoor air pollutants can really kill. Tobacco smoke can be one of the most toxic air pollutants in a home. It contains harmful chemicals and can make it difficult to breathe not only for the smoker, but for those around them through second and third hand smoke. Living with a smoker can be like breathing the air in the world’s most polluted cities, according to a study from Scotland.


Natural Air Purifiers

Breathe easy (and reduce your risk for illness) by simply adding more greenery to your home or apartment space. Certain house plants are really good at cleaning the air in your house and have even been studied by NASA as a way to purify the air in space facilities. Several plants were found to filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as the Aloe, Spider plant, Gerber Daisy, Snake plant, Golden Pothos, Weeping fig and more!


Contact a St. George Real Estate Agent Today

No matter where you reside, with a little effort you can improve the air quality in your home making it a healthier place to live. If you would like to take advantage of affordable rental options and real estate opportunities in St. George, contact a Staten Island real estate agent who can help you find the perfect home or apartment. You can also call us at 1-718-273-3800.